UPS: Not Great

I was going to let this go until the finale happened this morning.
So: a winery we all love shipped me a solo bottle via UPS to arrive last Friday. I’ve got that UPS Choice thing, which is supposed to allow you some control over your shipments. I stay at home in order to receive it. An email arrives while I’m working: they had tried to deliver but no one was there to receive. I go outside, and sure enough, there is a note on my gate. They didn’t try to, y’know, open the gate. They didn’t ring the bell. They just showed up and left, apparently. They also no longer leave alcohol at the door, apparently. Okay. They are going to make two more attempts - but I won’t be home Monday or Tuesday. So I get online and log into my account. It won’t let me re-direct to the local UPS store. It won’t let me do anything. In fact, it says the shipment is still just about to arrive, which it’s not.
Happily, when I contact the winery, they are able to have the package held at the closest UPS store. But when I try to find out which one that is, the website can’t tell me. It keeps alternating between it’s being held for me (but it won’t say where) and it’s about to be delievered (and I should check back to see when). I contact the winery again. They get an address. It’s being held at the main processing center, which is about 15 minutes away, sort of near downtown. Not a UPS store and not near me, but hey, it’s wine. I’ll go.
I drive there yesterday afternoon, and I end up doing several drivebys. Industrial area. There’s clearly a block surrounded by razor wire with a lot of UPS trucks in it but are no obvious signs explaining where the entrance is. Finally I figure it out: there’s a dead end street that’s filled on both sides with a homeless encampment. That’s the entrance. I have to wait a minute because there’s a paramedic administering aid to some miserable-looking shirtless guy sitting on a pile of tires in the street.
I get through.There’s a gate. It’s closed and locked. There’s a sign: they’re only open 8-noon. There’s nothing in their message about picking stuff up about this mornings-only thing.
I go home. I go back this morning. And here’s where I thought I should just shut up about my problems: a frustrated guy is also in line, very distressed, because his medication is in the same situation as my fancy wine bottle. Only UPS can’t find his meds, and the guys working there aren’t too concerned about it. They find my wine. “Hey, look, it’s your medication,” they laugh. I thank them, tell the guy I hope things work out for him, and leave and that was going to be the end of it.
Then I opened the package.
Seepage. Wine running down the bottle and across the label. I took off the capsule and Yep, cork is red.
It hasn’t been over 85 here in a week. I have no idea how they managed to cook it but they did.
Winery is replacing bottle. Via Fedex.
I know everyone’s local carrier is of different qualities and some folks are UPS > than Fedex and whatnot, but holy cow, this was first-world-problem bonkers.

Quality wine is being shipped this time of year?

I generally prefer UPS over FedEx but one time UPS left 5 cases of wine in my driveway and never rang the bell. I guess there’s nothing one can do about individuals who are lazy or bad at their jobs.

Prefer FedEx to UPS, but goddamn. What a shit show.

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I can totally empathize with this. We’ve gotten the run around so often from UPS and we live almost across the street from a UPS store but they will not allow packages to be held at the store unless they are shipped directly to the store which is never done. Not seen any difference between UPS and FEDEX on whether things get delivered or not. We use to know our drive but now they seem to change every week.

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I wait until the package is in UPS’s hands, usually the day after I get the tracking. I then use the Mychoice app and have it directed to a UPS store near me. I have given up waiting at home to sign for wine. I use a similar app for Fed Ex. So far so good.

I try to take the same approach. However, in many cases (no pun intended), I’ve found that I’m not allowed to change the shipping address on deliveries involving alcohol… so I just have to wait at home all day. Fun stuff.

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I have had no issues with wine in the past, I upgraded to the paid MyChoice. It’s $19.99/year. I think it lets you do more. That maybe the difference.

FedEx all day long for me. UPS is not good in my area.

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In Miami UPS is the BIG BROWN OVEN !!! [soap.gif]

This is actually kind of why some places that are UPS Only for shipping ended up getting axed on my already slim vendor list. I’ve had OP’s experience before - albeit not as bad - and it sucks. The UPS stores are franchises and basically do not want to be receiving points for wine. There is one by me that will do it, but wants an extra $10 box fee.

I’m trying one UPS shipment for wine later this month, but honestly been years since I’ve picked them.

It all comes down to the driver. The Fedex guy is a $%&@. Wont even get out of his truck, I’ve seen him drive right by and 5 minutes later I get a “no one home” message. UPS guy on the other hand goes above and beyond.

At work I have the opposite. UPS guy is an absolute ahole and goes days without showing up, Fedex (express) is on top of it.

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I’ve had UPS drivers buzz the tower, so to speak, and claim they tried to drop something off. I have a doorbell camera and can tell when they don’t. They got really defensive when I called to complain that their “nobody home” email was incorrect and tried to make me feel bad for possibly getting someone in trouble. Very odd business behavior.

FedEx allow me to divert shipments to my local Walgreens, less than a mile away. UPS will not allow me to do anything at all with my wine shipments, presumably because of the alcohol content.

I had the same issue when i missed a UPS shipment. Because of “Covid” my UPS main depot, 15 miles away, was only open in the mornings. They too had not put these reduced hours on their website, despite being in effect since early 2020.

Given a choice I always chose FedEx and always divert the shipments to Walgreens…there’s no way the driver can claim nobody home!!!

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Yeah, I dislike UPS because they generally won’t allow you to reroute wine to UPS stores, while this is never a problem with FedEx. I will say that UPS is somewhat more reliable at my office in terms of when they show up. It’s a fairly consistent 30 minute window and it’s in the morning. With FedEx, if it’s out for delivery and they haven’t shown up at my office by 2:00 pm, they aren’t delivering it that day and it just changes from ‘Out for Delivery’ to ‘Pending’ on the tracking. Really I should just shift every single shipment to be held at a FedEx Kinkos or Walgreens and save myself the headache.

I paid for MyChoice, and then was told by UPS that they cannot redirect wine shipment to another location per alcohol rules. This may be variable by state.

On the larger subject, deliveries are super variable, and I could write horror stories about UPS and Fedex. I completely believe the OP’s experience, it seems consistent with what you should expect.

If I may ask, where did the wine come from? As others have noted, its not quite time to ship wine, there’s 90+ temperatures in a few states. That might not be UPS’s fault.

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A Walgreens near us accepts FedEx packages so I can have wine shipped there and not have to wait home for it. FedEx over UPS all day long.

I have been to that UPS location. It was odd and slightly terrifying in how it felt - uber industrial and like the packages were actually in prison. I remember broken glass everywhere when I was parking. Glassel Park, so there you go.


Interesting to know about not being able to redirect wine. I wonder if I have been sneaking under the radar. I know last Spring I redirected half a dozen wine shipments to the UPS store without a problem.

FWIW, I have a 2 case FedEx shipment that is spending three days in the exact same place. Hasn’t moved since Tuesday.

Neither one is better than the other. Logistics are wildly f-ed up right now, even for things that matter way more than wine.